Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


Blasting Out of the Comfort Zone

Hello Dear Readers,

My blog is going to look a little different this April. Why? I decided I just don’t have enough challenges in my life, so…

Tomorrow I’m beginning the A to Z Blog Challenge. For every day in April except Sundays, I will write a blog post that features a corresponding letter of the alphabet. Talk about challenging, especially when I get to letters like “Q” and “X”!

In honour of my blog’s theme, each post will have something to do with living a life less ordinary. Some posts will be helpful tips and tricks, some will be interviews with people who are living kickass lives, and some will be personal stories. And don’t worry–I’ll still continue with Fiction Fridays. I’ll just have to be more creative with how I name the posts.

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend lately. I’ve been taking the easy way out much too often. If something is unfamiliar or requires extra effort, I’ll avoid it or procrastinate so long that the project takes three times the amount of hours that it needs to.

I’ll give you an example. I heard about this awesome contest that sounded perfect for me. The winner gets to spend two months on a gorgeous island, promoting everything that island life has to offer. I love island life–I’m going to be moving to an island in the not-so-distant future. And I’ve been in marketing and public relations for more years than I’d like to admit. I was really pumped about entering, and then I read the fine print.

The contest required a video application.

“Oh well,” I thought. “There goes that idea.”

Why did I reject the idea of putting together a video? I have lots of on-camera experience. I had some thoughts about how I could make it really fun. So what was the problem, then?

I wrote off the idea of doing a video because it was “too much work”. It would take more effort than simply writing something and sending it off, like I’d done with other contests.

When I realized what I was doing–that I was willing to pass up an amazing opportunity just because it would take some effort–I knew I had to change my way of thinking.

So with the help of some phenomenal friends, I did it! I made a video, and on April 1, I will give you guys the first peek at both my video and the bio I wrote for this contest.

While I would love to win the contest, the fact that I put myself out there in the first place was a huge win for me. I don’t want to be the kind of person who takes the easy way out–that’s not my style.

How about you, Dear Readers? Have you ever found yourself in a comfort zone rut? What did you do to get out of it?

Thanks for reading!
1 part newsletter, 1 part unnerving updates,
2 parts sneak peeks of new projects.


  1. Javier

    There is a good reason why we usually stay in the “comfort” zone: it is comfy! These days my personal challenge is to be up half an hour early to exercise. It’s been only three weeks, but some days you have to really push yourself to get out of bed instead of hit “snooze”. Good luck with your contest submission!

    • Holli Moncrieff

      So true, Javier. I think Winnipeg itself is a comfort zone in a lot of ways. It’s so easy to stay here, and difficult to leave.

      Congrats on your personal challenge! You’ve lost a lot of weight and are looking great. Exercise is so important for emotional health along with everything else.

      Thanks for all your help with the contest! I couldn’t have done it without you. And thanks for commenting.

  2. Kyla Roma

    Oh fun! I love this challenge, and that you’re rising to the challenges that speak to you. I can’t wait to watch your video!

    • Holli Moncrieff

      Thanks, Kyla! I really hope you like it. It’s definitely different from the other entries! Not sure if that will prove to be a good or bad thing, but I had to be myself.

  3. Crystal

    Good for you Holli, I can’t wait to see the video! I tend to follow the easiest path myself. Reading your post however has led me to reconsider. Next time, I’ll just have to make it happen. 🙂

    • Holli Moncrieff

      Thanks, Crystal. I never would have picked you for an “easiest path” person with all you’ve accomplished, but it’s soooo easy to fall into a rut, especially in the winter. I’d love to hear what you decide to do to shake things up!

      Thanks for commenting. <3

  4. Elle

    Didn’t I just say that fortune favours the bold? 🙂

    Congrats and good luck! Stepping out of your comfort zone isn’t easy but it’s the only way to get to where you want to go.

  5. Donelle Lacy

    It’s absolutely a great idea to push yourself when you know you’re capable of meeting the challenge. And be wise about the challenges you take on. I sometimes take on too many challenges at once, and berate myself for the ones I can’t meet. I’m trying to do better with this.

    Congratulations on finally making the video, and good luck with the contest! You can do anything if you’re determined enough. ^_^

  6. Holli Moncrieff

    Thanks, ladies! I really appreciate the kind words and support today. It really helps.

    @ Elle: I agree. Almost everything I want to accomplish is outside my comfort zone, so there’s no time like the present to be bolder. Life is short!

    @ Donelle: I tend to do the same thing. Training for a fight while writing a novel and holding down one full-time job and a part-time job, anyone? I’ve been completely insane like that before. When I told The Boy I was signing up for this challenge, his first reaction was, “yeah, cuz you don’t have enough to do.” But some of these things I just can’t resist!

    Thanks for commenting. xoxo

  7. Tana

    Wow! That does sound like a challenge, but you will fight through it like a champ (like always!)! Good luck with the A-Z, and GOOD, GOOD luck with that contest!!! Way to go!!!

    • Holli Moncrieff

      Thanks so much, Tana! Hope you love the video. It’s a bit out there. 🙂

  8. Josie Two Shoes

    Wonderful undertaking, Holli! I’m cheering for you all the way! Your video and your bio make it clear that you are exactly the person for this unique assignment and I have no doubt you’d do a kick-ass job! :-))


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.